New rules regarding specialty plates take effect January 1, 2023

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 3:37 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Reno resident Peter Gulash shows us two of the things that make him happy in this world. A 1970 MG BGT and a 1974 Jensen Healey MKY.

He’s currently president of the Reno British Car Club and says most of the members have plates like he does. They say “Classic Vehicle.”

“It’s kind of a privilege to have these cars on the road,” says Gulash. “Some of these cars are older and with some of the different requirements for smog and the big counties, Clark and Washoe they might not pass that.”

Indeed, that is what these plates afford the car owner.

They must register the car. But if the cars are of a certain age, they do not have to be smog checked. But with that the owner signs an affidavit the car will not be driven more than 5,000 miles a year. The car will only be used in exhibits, parades, or other events. They will not be used for daily commutes.

But in the past, there have been some car owners who have tried to use the “Classic Vehicle” and other specialty plates to avoid a smog check.

We stumbled across what we think is such a car. An early 1990s Ford Explorer. It is parked on a neighborhood street near downtown. It is missing a wheel. It too has “Classic Vehicle” plates and has not been registered according to the tags for two years.

Beginning January 1, 2023 the owner of this vehicle who wants to retain the specialty plates must jump through an additional hoop.

“You’re going to need to also send in a copy of your declaration that states it is classic automobile insurance,” says Gulash.

Such a requirement will make it tougher for a car like this to be exempt from a smog check along with obtaining a specialty plate.

Gulash sees it as a way to retain the privilege of keeping a classic car on the road and preventing a few bad actors from ruining it for everyone.

For more information on classic car plates, click here: